This weekend my very timid and shy Miniature American Shepherd named Why debuted in AKC Scent Work.  Why has a NW1, L1C and L1V… he really struggles with searching in new locations although we have worked on it for years.  I was on the cusp of retiring him entirely from competition.

Why blew me away this weekend.

I entered him in 2 of the 4 offered trials at the Greater Louisville Dog Training Club AKC Scent Work trial in Louisville, KY.  He did all of the Novice classes offered each of the morning trials during the 2 day trial.  He Q’d in 8/8 runs.

And he earned High in Trial for Novice in both trials!

The interesting thing is that this weekend has given me a little more insight into the beauty of AKC for sensitive dogs (when the trial site is suitable).  This isn’t something I expected and quite honestly I entered him on a whim just because he was going to be in the van anyway!

Why Louisville Ribbons

I originally hadn’t planned on trialing either Why, or my older Standard Poodle, Joey in AKC.  My two Labradors, Brava and Judd, have already been competing (successfully) in this venue since October of last year…. Judd was Second Overall at the AKC Inaugural Scent Work Trial at the Eukanuba Performance Games last September.  To be honest, I was blindsided this weekend by the realization that AKC is AWESOME for my other dogs!

The fabulous realization came when I finally put 2 and 2 together…. In AKC you don’t need to enter every class or work your dog for the entire day.  You can have one rough search and your day isn’t shot.  You keep your Q’s!

In AKC, they don’t cater to the “reactive” or the “special” dog…. I have to state that.  However, if you have a well managed dog who wants to play, this might actually be an awesome opportunity for you.  Just be smart in picking the trial location.  This weekend we were at a camp.  Had this been run in conjunction with a large Conformation trial, I probably would NOT have entered him.  That wouldn’t have been the right setup for a timid, shy dog like Why.  However, this was perfect…

I’m so pleased that AKC Scent Work is exploding!  And I’m truly proud of the program.

If you have sat out in the “wait and see” crowd, I encourage you to give it a shot!  AKC Scent Work is FUN, challenging and rewarding!!

Happy Sniffing!!

(Why was adopted from MARS, Mini Aussie Rescue and Support…. A nationwide breed rescue for Miniature American Shepherds)